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He Opened a Beautiful World to Us

He Opened a Beautiful World to Us

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Published by: SAna ريتا Missaoui on May 22, 2013
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He opened a beautiful world to us, full of unimagined vistas of bright days, warm radiant sunbeams on white hill tops, sweet scented breeze, gurgling brooks, cool thickets, and merry daffodils.When it came to describing Mother Earth and her bounteous Nature, William Wordsworth had amagical touch.Nature was his cradle as William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cumberland, a picturesque
countryside in England‘s Lake Region. The rolling hills, the crystal clear lakes and the green
meadows were the playing fields of his growing up years.Wordsworth felt a sense of intimacy with Nature right from his childhood. Among his first mostsignificant sonnets is
‘Written in Very Early Youth’
 
in which he jots:
 ―Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
 The kine are couched upon the dewy grass;The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,Is cropping audibly his later meal:Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
O`er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.‖ 
 Being orphaned at 17, he was taken under the patronage of his uncles and sent to Cambridge,
where he contemplated several careers but couldn‘t set his heart on any one. Church did not hold
his fascination; he toyed with the idea of military, but feared diseases such as yellow fever wouldconsume him in some far off postings rather than a heroic death on the battlefield. Law, he felt,was out of question.So undecided, he spent a year in London but kept pining all the while for the lushness of thecountryside. He would sometimes spend time in reminiscence of much sunshine and cheer that histhoughts would delight him even in his dullest moments. Perhaps no other piece has so muchgaiety packed in it than the one on a sweep of laughing bright yellow
‘Daffodils’:
 
 ―I wandered lonely as a cloud
 That floats on high o`er vales and hills.When all at once I saw a crowd,A host, of golden daffodils;Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…..
 For oft, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.‖ In his youth, Wordsworth got a chance to travel to Switzerland and
France, at a time when the ring of rebellion was reverberating in the country. From the revolutionarose the chants of equality and cries for demolishing the bastions of the privileged. Much affected,the young Wordsworth was keen to be a part of the revolution. Prevented by his uncles, hecontinued to keep a close tab on events in France, but the bloody turn to the revolt leftWordsworth dejected and miserable.
English writer and literary critic William Hazlit writes in his book ‗The Spirit of the Age‘ that the
 
Wordsworth school of poetry ―had its origin in the French R
evolution... It was a time of promise, arenewal of the world
 
and of letters‖. A man does find peace in the embrace of serenity when the
war drums have fatigued his senses to the end. Vague as it may sound, but after witnessingpolitically tumultuous and
violent struggles, connecting with Nature may have been Wordsworth‘s
way of rejuvenation.This is best reflected in his famous 19 poems called
Lyrical Ballads,
which are considered seminalin his oeuvre on Nature and were written jointly with his long term associate and friend SamuelTaylor Coleridge. The poems were first published as
‘Lines Written a few miles above TinternAbbey’:
 
 ―Though absent long,
 These forms of beauty have not been to me,As is a landscape to a blind man`s eye:But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the dinOf towns and cities, I have owed to them,In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,And passing even into my purer mindWith tranquil restoration:
feelings tooOf unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,As may have had no trivial influenceOn that best portion of a good man`s life;His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.‖ 
 Back in England, Wordsworth reunited with his beloved sister Dorothy and took a home in the LakeRegion. A beneficent gift in the form of a legacy from a friend and later a repayment from LordLonsdale of an amount owed to his father helped him submit to his first love, poetry, with a freemind. After two years they moved to the scenic Dorsetshire and also spent a winter in Germany.
Wordsworth and his sister then returned back to the Lake Region, where he took up the ‗DoveCottage‘ before moving to a larger residence and getting married to Mary Hutchinson, with whom
he had five children. It was this particular area of England, which was not just very beautiful, butalso greatly loved by Wordsworth and an inspiration for most of his work on Nature.It was here that he extensively explored the seasons and the changing hues of the day and night.In the
‘It was an April Morning: Fresh and Clear’
he writes:
 ―It was an April morning: fresh and clear
 The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,Ran with a young man`s speed; and yet the voiceOf waters which the winter had suppliedWas softened d
own into a vernal tone.‖ 
 Once when the gloaming auburn had darkened into the night, Wordsworth wrote
 
‘How Beautifulthe Queen of Night’:
 
 ―How beautiful the Queen of Night, on high
 Her way pursuing among scattered clouds,Where, ever and anon, her head she shrouds
 
Hidden from view in dense obscurity.But look, and to the watchful eyeA brightening edge will indicate that soonWe shall behold the struggling MoonBreak forth,--
again to walk the clear blue sky.‖ 
 Wordsworth is counted among the first of the breed of Romantic writers. What stands out in thisgenre is a prominently discernable attempt to breakaway from the past. The work of the Romanticshas an element of freshness and quality which touches the heart. There is an aspiration of unitywith the
elements and desire for self fulfillment. This is illustrated in Wordsworth‘s
 
‘Poem lyrics of Influence of Natural Objects’:
 
 ―Wisdom and Spirit of the universe!
 Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!And giv`st to forms and images a breathAnd everlasting motion! not in vain,By day or star-light, thus from my first dawnOf childhood didst thou intertwine for meThe passions that build up our human soul;Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;But with high objects, with enduring things,W
ith life and nature‖ 
 
What is unique about Wordsworth‘s relationship with Nature is that it has two dimensions. There is
one aspect when we have extensive descriptions of the physical aspects of Nature
like the brightlight of morning over valleys, and clear blue skies, to the softly murmuring rivulets, dew onmorning grass and pearly beads on colourful petals.Then there is another facet where he has in some way associated Nature with divinity, besidesbeing a sensitive interpreter and portrayer of her multiple manifestations. Wordsworth isconsidered among the greatest five or six English poets, who gave spiritualism an expression inpoetic stanzas.As an avid lover of these natural gifts, he may have unknowingly taught us the profound lesson of equality; where the chirping of a little sparrow gives equal thrill as the ripples of a tremulous lakeor a song of the
‘Solitary Reaper’.
All protagonists of Mother Nature are equally cherished.
 ―Behold her, single in the field,
 Yon solitary Highland Lass!Reaping and singing by herself;Stop here, or gently pass!Alone she cuts and binds the grain,And sings a melancholy strain;O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.‖ 
 This dimension of an underlying unity in the entire creation helps us to interpret better the play of the divine. It teaches us humility; it helps us see the importance and sublimity of that which wemay have dismissed as insignificant. Wordsworth seems, in a way, closer to Indian thought andphilosophy wherein we see God in everything around us. Through all his rambling and penning, hiscommunion with Nature may have been his form of prayer to the Lord; his most transcendental

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